To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: Interim Superintendent Garth McKinney
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: February 9, 2023
FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
This week is National School Counseling Week, a week dedicated to focusing public attention on the unique contribution of school counselors within U.S. school systems. National School Counseling Week highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career.
We are lucky to have dedicated and talented School Counselors in Milton. These professionals work with students in PreK-12 grade in a myriad of ways and School Counselors are in a unique position to assist children and help them cope with any number of issues through their unbiased ability to listen, support, and empathize.
At MHS, School Counselors work with students on class and scheduling issues, help facilitate academic issues and focus on post-high school plans with (especially) juniors and seniors. MHS, Pierce, and Elementary School Adjustment Counselors provide a supportive role to students as needs arise as well as provide whole class and whole school Social Emotional Learning support. School Counselors at every level support not only our students but also parents and guardians, teachers, and staff. We would be lost without these valued professionals on the MPS team and I know you join me in sharing your gratitude. In addition to the School Counselors who are pictured, thank you to Ramsey Cadet from Tucker and Brian Powers and Suyapa Allen from Glover!
In February, we celebrate Black History Month in all of our schools. We’ll be sharing classroom and school highlights throughout the month, as our students learn about and pay tribute to a broad variety of Black Americans throughout US history. Glover students highlight a prominent and influential Black American each day during morning announcements, hearing about people like Sidney Poitier, John Lewis, Sojourner Truth, Muhammed Ali, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and many more. Classes use resources that include videos, read-alouds, and articles to learn more about a different person each day. At Tucker, the Reading Spirit Week theme is Elevating Black Authors. All week, Tucker students are enjoying books by Kelly Starling Lyons, Floyd Cooper, Amanda Gorman, Gaia Cornwell, to name just a few.
Today was the 100th day of school for our Kindergarten students and the 1000th day of school for our 5th graders! Cunningham staff sent their good wishes to our 5th graders in this video and kindergarteners across the district celebrated this milestone!
This week I transitioned into the role of Interim Superintendent until July 1, 2023, when Dr. Peter Burrows will begin his tenure at MPS. I want to thank Superintendent Janet Sheehan for her dedication to the Milton Public Schools over the last six months, as we are all so grateful for her leadership during this transition year. I look forward to overseeing the successful second half of this school year and to welcoming Dr. Burrows in July. Please reach out at any time via email or phone (627-696-4811 ext 5580), and my door at Central Office at Milton High School is always open.
MPS NEED TO KNOW
- Feb 15 School Committee Meeting
- Feb 20-24 February Recess
- Feb 28 SEPAC Meeting
- Feb 28 Pierce DEI Community Event
- Mar 1 School Committee Meeting
- Mar 2 Early Release Day – PD for Staff
- Mar 8 Harlem Wizards at MHS
SCHOOL COMMITTEE FORUMS
Thank you to all who attended the School Committee Budget Forum last night. The Forum is posted on the Milton Access TV Youtube page. If you missed the previous forums, Milton Access TV recordings can be found below.
- School Committee Forum on Personalized Learning, November 9, 2022
- School Committee Forum on Safe and Supportive Schools, November 30, 2022
- School Committee Forum on Equity in Learning, January 25, 2023
PIERCE COMMUNITY EVENT
The Pierce Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee will host a community event open to all parents and caregivers on February 28th at 6:30 p.m. in the Pierce auditorium. The event will offer a series of short educational and skill building workshops for parents and caregivers that will focus on promoting and supporting the academic, social and emotional wellbeing of children and teens through the lens of diversity, equity and inclusion. The workshop sessions are as below:
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion at Pierce & MPS facilitated by Claire Galloway-Jones, MPS Director of DEIB
- Restorative practices at Pierce Middle School facilitated by Adina Schecter, MPS Restorative Justice Coach
- LGBTQ+ hate speech lesson facilitated by Oliver Jones, MPS student
DESE REVIEW OF MPS ENGLISH LEARNER EDUCATION PROGRAM
During the week of February 27, 2023, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (DESE’s) Office of Language Acquisition (OLA) will review our English Learner Education (ELE) program at Milton Public Schools in a process called a Tiered Focused Monitoring Review.
The Office of Language Acquisition reviews each school district’s English Language Education program every six years to monitor compliance with federal and state English learner education laws and regulations. Areas of review will include English Learners’ assessments; identification of English learners; what programs English Learners are placed in; parent and community involvement; curriculum and instruction; student support services; licensure requirements for faculty, staff, and administration; and program plans, evaluation and recordkeeping. Please see this link for information about parent outreach, how to contact DESE for a telephone interview and how to view the report after the Onsite Review. Details can be found here in English, Arabic, Chinese Traditional, Chinese Simplified, French, Haitian Creole, Spanish, Portuguese and Vietnamese.
MPS COMPOST PILOT PROGRAM
Sustainable Milton is partnering with the Town of Milton and Milton Public Schools to implement a Food Waste Diversion and Recycling program in the Tucker and Glover Cafeterias. By reducing food waste in the schools, the Town of Milton can help the environment and save money on waste disposal by sending less trash to the landfill.
Can you help us make this initiative a success and a positive learning experience for the students? We need your help to oversee the students as they learn how to sort their waste! Starting Monday, February 27, we will be separating food waste into compost bins, liquid into pour off buckets, recyclable materials into recycling bins, and the remaining waste (hopefully very little) into the trash! All Milton volunteers are welcome – please consider signing up for a volunteer shift here.
FOOD SERVICE – SCHOOL MEALS FOR ALL
School Meals for All ensures that all students have equal access to the nutrition they need to learn and thrive. Please consider asking your legislators to invest in the future of our children by supporting the Feed Kids MA bill. It’s easy to reach out to your legislators, all details are at this link.
MPS GOOD TO KNOW
ELEMENTARY DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP
Milton Public Schools continues to make digital citizenship a priority! All students in elementary school are taught a robust digital citizenship curriculum developed by Common Sense Media and modified by our incredible Instructional Technology Specialists, Sara Doherty and Jen Van Hill. We continue to find ways to embed digital citizenship topics into the core subjects at the secondary level. In addition, we offer an elementary digital citizenship day in February and 9th grade Digital Citizenship Day each October. If you are interested in volunteering for an upcoming Elementary Digital Citizenship Day, please sign-up here:
- Collicot: February 14 from 8:30-10:30 am. Sign up to volunteer here.
- Tucker: February 15 from 9:30-11:30 am. Sign up to volunteer here.
- Cunningham: February 16 from 8:30-10:30 am. Sign up to volunteer here.
- Glover: February 17 from 9:30-11:30 am. Sign up to volunteer here.
FRENCH GENERAL CONSUL VISITS MPS
It’s been a big two weeks for the MPS French Immersion program! Two weeks ago, French Consul General Mr. Mustafa Soycurt visited Collicot and Cunningham’s French Immersion classrooms, playing games, watching a math lesson, listening to the French National Anthem, and chatting with students. With him were Educational and Cultural Project Manager for the Consulate Marceau Crespo and Valentine Lecocq of the Consulate’s cultural services in Boston.
The Consul General and his team were welcomed by Mme Segall, Mme Bourass El-Zein, Mlle Morton, Mme Kramer and Mme Saidj, Mme Muhsin, Mlle McGrath, Mme Theobald Grade, Mme Maugis and Mme. LeBigot. Mr. Soycurt remarked how impressed his team was with the french accent and language the students had as well as the level of cultural exposure our students receive. The visit was part of a collaboration with the French Consulate, the French Cultural Center in Boston, and MPS that kicked off a partnership that will help students find a pathway to studying in France after they graduate from high school.
This week, World Language Director Zeina Hamada helped to coordinate a webinar for students to learn about the possibility of attending a French University. Dozens of MHS students tuned in to hear about Sciences Po Paris, Sorbonne University, Université Paris Sciences et Lettres, and Université Paris Saclay and discuss possible paths to attendance. MHS French teachers will be sending a recording of the webinar to their students in the coming days and we will post it to the MPS website. We look forward to continued collaboration with the French Consul General and his team!
HARLEM WIZARDS AT MPS
The Harlem Wizards are coming back to MPS! Join the fun on Wednesday, March 8 at 7pm at Copeland Field house at Milton High School. This evening of family fun is an easy way to support the MHS Senior Class activities while enjoying a local night out with your kids. Come see the MPS Staff ‘Cats take on the Wizards! Tickets are available at this link and watch the MPS Wizards video here. Thanks to the Harlem Wizards for stopping by our elementary schools last week!
PROJECT LEAD THE WAY GRANT
We are excited to share that Cunningham and Glover have received grants from the One8 Foundation to expand our use of the Project Lead the Way curriculum to Grades 1-5 for our STEM curriculum for the English Innovation Program. Collicot and Tucker received the same grants last year, so we are now fully funded to purchase additional materials for all 4 elementary schools! Thanks to this funding our English Innovation 3rd graders have participated in the Programming Patterns module where they completed unplugged coding activities called Rosie’s Runtime and are now learning how to code using Scratch.
Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a nonprofit organization that provides a transformative learning experience for PreK-12 students and teachers through pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. With PLTW curriculum, students apply what they have learned to solve real-world problems.
MPS NICE TO KNOW
CUNNINGHAM PARTNER READING
Last weekend’s extreme cold snap impacted many around Milton, including students and staff at Cunningham, as two classes and two offices flooded due to a burst sprinkler pipe. Thank you to the many folks who have been working nonstop since early Sunday morning to minimize the impact on students. As you can see below, Ms. Schramm’s 2nd graders may have been disappointed to find their classroom was off-limits for now but they were all smiles for a visit to 5th grade for some fun partner reading!
GLOVER LEADERSHIP TEAM SERVICE PROJECT
Glover’s Fundraising Student Leadership Team (SLT) recently organized a fundraiser to benefit the Milton Animal Shelter. SLTs include 4th and 5th graders who choose to take on leadership roles within the Glover community. The team collected pet food, cleaning supplies, animal toys, and other necessities from the shelter’s wish list. Additionally, the team raised over 300 dollars to be donated to the shelter.
The Cunningham School Spirit Gang kicked off Kindness Month with National Send A Friend a Card day this week. Students made cards for friends in their “partner” classes, and made decorative fish together to colorfully decorate the halls of Cunningham. The 5th grade School Spirit students have worked hard on these initiatives to help spread kindness and positivity throughout their school community!
Collicot has launched a school-wide kindness campaign and students are working together on special kind missions during lunch and recess. During their kick off kindness assembly students focused on ways to show kindness at school, including volunteering, giving compliments, donating to charities, saying thank you, and performing random acts of kindness. Classes have signed up for secret kindness missions to complete during lunch and recess.
GLOVER AND TUCKER READ-A-THON
Tucker and Glover are in the midst of their first joint Read-A-Thon! Between February 1-14, students are busy logging minutes read while families and friends have the chance to support the fundraising efforts on behalf of the readers. Funds raised will go towards author visits at both schools and increase access to diverse reading materials and other educational resources and experiences funded by the PTO. So far students have logged more than 267,743 minutes!
To prepare for the Read-A-Thon, Glover, and Tucker each organized a book swap. Thanks to the many generous donations, students at both schools were able to select several books to take home and were excited about having “new to them” books just in time for the Read-A-Thon. Tucker also was able to stock its book vending machine with new books purchased through Scholastic dollars and each student picked out a new book this week. Keep reading, Glover Kids and Tucker Tigers!
COLLICOT FRENCH IMMERSION
Mme Maugis’s Collicot 5th grade French Immersion students recently collaborated with Mme. McGrath’s 3rd grade French students. The 5th graders have been studying “Les Megaconstructions” or megastructures and each 5th grader chose one megastructure to study and write about in French. 5th graders presented to their 3rd grade peers who were able to learn many new facts and ask questions. Projects included The Colosseum and The Burj Khalifa. 3rd graders enjoyed learning from these 5th grade experts!
MPS MUSIC NEWS
On Saturday, January 26th MHS and Pierce students auditioned for the MMEA Eastern District Junior Festival at Needham High School. We are happy to share that five students were accepted to the festival which will be held in March! Congratulations to MHS students Gwen Johnston and Melina Zullas and Pierce students Marcus Krueger, Sebastian Gobbi and Chloe Bergeron.
This past weekend, over 40 music students from MHS and Pierce auditioned for the Junior and Senior SEMSBA festivals. We had great success and had 26 students accepted for both festivals! Congratulations to MHS Students Lucy Asanza, Emily Bohlin, Sam Boucher, Nate Brown, Stephy Dai, Camille Donovan, Tim Fay, Isabelle Feoney, Colin Glazer, Kevin Gomes, James Goodman, Niamh Guilderson, Nora Heggarty, Lucie Lloyd-Faber, Liam Manares, Rory Martin, Brynne Mershon, Ha-Yen Nguyen and Adrinana Villar who were accepted to the Sr. SEMSBA festival. MHS and Pierce Students Elliott Leeman-Weil, Chloe Bergeron, Cecelia Campbell-Stewart, Sebastian Gobbi, James Malec, Lacey O’Malley, and Nate Turner were accepted to the Jr. SEMSBA Festival. Bravo to all!
Spring Registration is OPEN! Be sure to register for sports this spring as we are just over one month from tryouts! If you have already registered for a sport this year, all you need to do is update your registration and add the spring sport. You do not need to register again. Please find instructions and links here.
MHS BOOSTERS NEWS
It’s time for the Booster’s General Membership drive! Become a Boosters member to support our student athletes. Last year we committed $40k to our sports teams and we’re looking to do even more with your support! Memberships start at just $25. All details are here.
COMMUNITY NEWS & EVENTS
Please use the links below or visit the MPS Community News & Events page for information on these terrific community events and opportunities!
Milton Sports for All is expanding its popular candle-pin bowling program to offer a high school session. Bowling will take place at Cunningham Hall on Wednesdays from 4:30-5:30 starting on March 1 .and running through April 5th. This program is open to Milton residents in grades 9-12. No experience (or bowling shoes) necessary! Registration will be open soon at this link.
The fee is $20, and registration will be open on February 13th. There is a maximum of 24 spots available, should the program be oversubscribed, participants will be selected by lottery and refunds will be given if not selected. If you are interested in joining, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Milton Sports for All is an inclusive recreational program that provides the opportunity for children of all abilities, experience, and backgrounds to participate in sporting activities in a fun, accessible way.
Milton Field Hockey is open for registration for the Winter (K-8) and Spring (K-8) 2023 season and summer camp (up to age 18)! All details can be found here.
Milton American Baseball registration is now open for players ages 4-12. With T-ball through the Majors Division, there is an opportunity for everyone to play and develop with friends. Please visit miltonamericanbaseball.org for more information.
MECA offers Stories and Friends Meet Up: Signs of Winter. Meet and connect with other families with young children and enjoy some winter fun! We’ll meet at the Visitor’s Center at Houghton’s Pond, enjoy some stories and songs, look for animal tracks in the snow, and complete a fun, hands-on snowman activity. Children will have the opportunity to meet Ranger Dan, who will read the StoryWalk® posted on the grounds. Registration is not required; however, you will need to sign in upon arrival. Please dress for both indoor and outdoor weather. A free animal tracks activity will be distributed to the first 35 children who sign in that morning. This program will meet on Saturday, February 18th, at 10:30 AM at 860 Hillside Street in Milton. Many thanks to our Kindergarten T-shirt sponsors for their generous support of this program! All details can be found here.
MECA Learning Through Play Preschool Playgroup 8-Week Series. Join us for a free 8-week preschool playgroup series beginning Saturday, March 18th! For children and their parent/guardian. Children must be 3 years old by March 18th, 4 years old, or 5 years old and missed the kindergarten entrance date last fall. This free playgroup series will focus on language, social/emotional, and fine and gross motor skills and be held in-person in a developmentally appropriate classroom with learning centers and fun learning activities throughout the space. This series is provided through a generous grant from Beth Israel Deaconess-Milton, Community Health Grant. Registration link can be found here and more details can be found here.
Milton Girls Softball encourages children in Kindergarten through Grade 8 to register for the 2023 Spring Season. All details can be found at www.miltonsoftball.com.
Milton Youth Lacrosse registration is open! All details at www.miltonlacrosse.org.
Join local board game creator, Thato Mwosa, for Trivia on Saturday, February 11 at 2:30PM! SAWA Trivia is an African Trivia Pop Culture game that celebrates the diversity of the African continent and the contributions of African people. Registrants will start the program learning about African history, geography, Arts, and Culture, and then they will get the chance to test their knowledge in this inspiring and entertaining board game. Register today!
Check out the fun programs you can enjoy for every day of the week of February Vacation (2/21 – 2/25):
- Tuesday: African and African-American Folktales with Eshu Bumpus, All Ages
- Wednesday: Dial-A-Story Recording Party, Ages 8-12
- Thursday: Stuffed Animal Sleepover, Ages 4+
- Friday: Take-and-Make Craft: Stitched Heart Ornaments, Ages 6-11
- Saturday: Historic New England: All About Herbs, Ages 5-12
Learn more and register for these programs through the MPL Events Calendar.
Brookwood Community Farm, located at the base of the Blue Hills on the Milton/Canton border, has CSA shares available for purchase online. Check out the wide variety of choices under Our CSA. For anyone that might need assistance affording a share or want to use EBT (SNAP/HIP) please email email@example.com.
The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as a selection of volunteers, vendors, and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Human Resources Dr. Garth McKinney, (617) 696- 4808/4809.